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Lecture 1

ENVIRSC 2E03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Biostratigraphy, Radiocarbon Dating, Magnetostratigraphy

Environmental Science
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Enviro Sci 2E03
Lecture 1- Introduction
Earth Sciences are more than oil, gas, and mineral deposits
Take sedimentary core samples and carbon date them to learn about different time periods
National geographic investigation into Maya skull at bottom of cave pit
Can use geographic information given from sedimentary landscapes left from tsunamis and
used to date the fossils and information in the area
Paleoclimate studies from a lake core are used to understand the relationship between climate
variability and food resources for Native Americans
Geological timescale is the foundation for all earth history which is categorized periods of earth
Fossils helped play a role in the break up of different time scale divisions
Speciation and extinction events often mirror large scale earth events such as sea level change
Provides chronostratigraphic markers on the time scale
Fossil record is biased towards oceanic environments as many of the ocean basins were
connected allowing widespread colonization
History Lesson:
William Smith, made the Map of the strata of England and Wales
He dug different areas and noticed sedimentary layers which had fossils similar to other spots
along the canal.
Earth was figured out to be created on Sunday, 23 October 4004BC, stating all marine fossils on
land were from the Great Flood
Time Scale:
Many different time periods, can be broken down into upper, middle, lower.
Constantly being revised and refined from new information and data that is found
Accumulation of sediment and its formation into rocks demarcates time and contains our
information on the evolution of the earth
Sediments don’t accumulate continuously in any given enviro, we have episodic sedimentation
in place an time.
In the world today, many different sedimentary facies coexist in time, and this was also true in
the geologic past.
System- The fundamental unit of chronostratigraphy
Period- The unit of geologic time equivalent to a system
Chronostatigraphic unit- a time-rock unit; the tangible representation of a geologic time
(geochronologic) unit
Lithostratigraphic units, especially formations, are, for the most part not time parallel. Can only
be used from localized basis, and can be good for matching rock type to rock type
Cant be used on large worldwide scale as different rocks form in different areas
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